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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 6, 2013 12:35am-1:06am PDT

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drag you under ♪ ♪ and bring you down again ♪ so wash me in the water ♪ take away this pain wash me in the water wash me in the water wash me of it all ♪ ♪ wash me of it all wash me in the water wash me in the water before my fall ♪ ♪ all these days just pass me by now ending up the same lord all those days ♪ ♪ just passing me by now ♪ just ending up just the same ♪ ending all the same ♪ it's always the same ♪ wash me in the water ♪ wash me ♪ wash me in the water ♪ before my fall ♪ wash me in the water ♪ wash me of it all wash me in the water wash me in the water before my fall ♪
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♪ wash me in the water wash me in the water ♪ if i had it my way ♪ lord, if i had it anyway ♪ hey ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: jamie n commons. "rumble and sway" is out now. you can see a bonus song at jimmy p. i want to thank sharon stone, dane cook. i want to thank matt damon for making the show tonight. tomorrow night julia louis-dreyfus, nick offerman and music from michael kiwanuka.
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nightline is next. thanks for watching! good night. tonight on "nightline" -- from new york city to africa to asia. we are investigating the insatiable appetite for illegal ivory. and we'll show you how the demand for this white gold is cutting down wild elephants at an alarming rate. >> go, go. follow him. >> we're on the trail of the biggest suspected illegal ivory dealer in togo, west africa, a man called the boss. >> with the boss. >> but has he been tipped off to the raid? and one of the biggest stars in baseball fights one of the biggest punishments in the game's history. it's a ban for the rest of this season and mention so how did alex rodriguez's day of reckoning end with a night in yankee pinstripes?
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>> announcer: this special edition of "nightline," "the hunt for
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thanks for joining us tonight. it's the wild african elephant is ever driven to extinction, man will certainly have plenty of souvenirs of the slaughter. to many an ivory chess set or hand-carved letter opener seems too trivial to kill for, especially a creature of such majesty and intelligence as the elephant. but for so many others ivory is a good luck status symbol worth striving for, with the demand so high up to 30,000 elephants are poached each year just for their tusks. so tonight a trip into the black market for white gold as it's known. from new york city to china to africa and then back to the states. a journey where corruption
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reigns and a few wildlife crime fighters try to change human nature before it's too late. they say you can buy anything in new york city. >> this is 10,000. this is less expensive than that piece. >> reporter: but can you buy the hand-carved souvenir of a slaughtered elephant? for this beloved creature the tusk is a key to survival in the wild. used to forage and fight. but they are worthless against a man with a gun, who can then sell that white gold on the black market for 1,300 bucks a pound. when elephants began disappearing in the '80s, all trade of new ivory was banned worldwide. >> i'm interested in ivory. >> okay. >> reporter: so this new york dealer tells me his ivory is old enough to sell legally. but here's the rub. new demand is so much bigger than old supply. these animals are now disappearing from the african forests faster than ever.
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so to better understand these grim laws of supply and demand we set off on a global investigation. from the gleaming ivory markets of china to a $12 million pile of tusks and trinkets in denver to the smugglers' shops of west africa. >> if i ordered a big piece, how long would it take? >> reporter: where a hidden camera is the only way to capture the truth. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: since there are organized ivory crime syndicates now working across africa, where corruption is rampant and police don't care, many think the elephant is doomed. but not if this guy has anything to say about it. >> fighting corruption should be the first thing that we do. no matter where it takes us. it's going to be tough. it's going to be a war. but that's what we need to do. >> reporter: his name is ofir drury. and he is a self-made wildlife crime fighter. >> we started working on this. >> reporter: with a team of amateur detectives he uses
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hidden cameras and microphones to build cases against poachers and smugglers across africa. >> we get inside his house and find all the documents. >> reporter: and once he's gathered enough evidence he then begs, cajoles -- >> get inside that place. >> until now you searched nothing basically. >> reporter: goads police into enforcing laws that are never enforced. >> if there's no one behind bars there's nothing. >> reporter: in the past decade his group named laga boasts 900 arrests of people who trade in everything from birds to apes to big cats. but their top priority these days is the elephant and those who profit from their destruction. a billion-dollar food chain that begins deep in the forest with men like this. pictures of poachers at work are extremely rare. but "nightline" acquired this footage of a man who claims 499 elephant kills. and a warning here. his 500th is hard to watch. he doesn't have enough bullets to put the mighty beast down quickly. so it suffers for hours.
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[ screaming ] before he can carve off just enough meat r the high comb and two modest tusks worth tens of thousands of dollars. there were 30,000 kills like that just last year. and you can see the effects on safari where dwindling herds are giving their distance because a traumatized elephant never forgets. >> they saw their entire families killed for meat and ivory. and as a result they're really understandably skittish around human beings. >> reporter: but more tangible proof of the slaughter was recently discovered hidden in a shipping container of mahogany wood en route to china and seized in malaysia. six tons of ivory. the $12 million remains of over 700 elephants. and when you learn that container was shipped from west africa, a little coastal nation of togo, ofir knew he had to
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come here, to the capital, lome, and start digging. >> he's advertising the fact that he has ivory to sell. >> reporter: this is julian, ofir's south african operative on the ground here in togo and posing as a buyer, he has developed some tantalizing leads toward a man everyone calls the boss. >> is that why he asked if you were a spy? >> yeah. clearly he's conscious of the legal implications of what he's doing. >> reporter: we'll join this hunt for the boss. but since ofir is too exposed to go undercover, julian will be my guide into togo's black market. >> by the looks -- oh, wow. >> these are amazing. >> reporter: we want to see just how much ivory an american can score in an afternoon. >> oh, look at that. >> reporter: so we start in a small workshop, where a back room hand-sawed chunks of tusks fashioned into trinkets -- >> how much is this one? >> reporter: to impressively ornate. >> if i ordered a big piece, how long would it take?
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>> reporter: for 8,000 bucks this trader claims he can track down a full fresh tusk and custom carve it in one week flat. >> how would i get it to america? >> reporter: but when i ask this man about smuggling, he gets a little cagey. >> i'd have to come here and get it? >> reporter: but he and a couple others mention a man with real connections. a man named emil mbuke, the boss. >> the boss. >> he work with the boss boss boss boss. >> julian finds him. and the shelves of his shop prove the legend is legit. ofir estimates there is 500 pounds of ivory here. around 30 elephants' worth in open display. which means he probably has connections and could be a lead to solving the case of that big malaysian seizure. >> the information that he holds is enormous.
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if we could only jump inside his head i'm sure we could start arresting some of the bigger guys worldwide. >> reporter: but getting him to admit to smuggling could be a delicate dance. >> let's see these pieces. >> reporter: julian begins by assessing the range of prices. >> something like that would be how much? >> $26,000 for the big one. >> reporter: and then eases into the topic of exporting. >> common export size. what's the -- what the options are? can we still get a piece like that out? >> reporter: that's when mbuke suddenly wants a little privacy. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> what countries have these shipped to before? italy? >> reporter: with this stunning admission and a revealing visit
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to the other carver, ofir has enough evidence but he still has to convince local cops to raid both shops simultaneously. tension builds the morning of the raid. but as we arrive before the bust, the shop is suspiciously closed, the target nowhere to be found. >> i've got his number. >> reporter: the problem is that this shop is not in a tourist area. so if a couple of white guys show up and start loitering, it could make emil, the ivory merchant, even more wary. ofir has investigators outside keeping an eye on the place. he says the local police also have undercover cops keeping an eye on the place. so they're all hopeful that somehow they'll show up, open shop, and they can swoop in. >> it's still shut up. >> there's nothing around here. >> there's nothing around here where we can stop. i recommend we go back to the other places and take our chances. >> okay. what should we do? >> reporter: back at a cafe on the other side of town julian
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gets word from ofir who's at the police station still trying to salvage the raid. >> he knows. >> how? >> if this guy is aware that he's been made, that he's under investigation, he will do whatever he can to destroy the evidence. so you've got to act while you've got the chance. >> suddenly we get word the raid could happen now at any time. so we scramble to take position without being seen by possible lookouts. when we come back -- >> no, no. go. follow him. >> the moment of truth. will ofir finally get his man? years ago, my doctor told me to take a centrum silver multivitamin every day. i told him, sure. can't hurt, right? and now today, i see this in the news. once again, centrum silver was chosen by researchers for another landmark study. this time looking at eye health. my doctor!
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back now to our trip into the black market of white gold, where a worldwide ban on freshly poached ivory has only driven up the price and driven down the numbers of africa's wild elephants. ofir drory is the self-made wildlife crime fighter struggling against rampant corruption to stop smugglers, and his work has brought up a man who could hold a wealth of information along with the 500 pounds of ivory in his shop. >> no, no. go, follow him. >> reporter: we're rushing to document the capture of the biggest suspected ivory dealer in togo, emil mbuke, a man other ivory dealers call the boss. >> you i hope these tinted windows work. >> reporter: we hear he's been tipped off about the raid but there's still a chance he might show. >> we are staked out around the corner. >> reporter: with the hopes of wildlife crime fighter ofir
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drury are dashed when it becomes clear the boss caught wind of the raid and has officially skipped town. >> it's a roller coaster ride of emotions on this stakeout waiting to see who's going to show up, whether the police cooperate, whether the authorities have leaked to the suspect. unbelievable. >> reporter: and it's here we get a taste of the daily frustration in ofir's crusade. to save animals he has to struggle through a system so corrupt every smuggler knows that freedom is just a bribe away. >> we are not going to hide that in our country there is corruption. >> reporter: didi nkuwe is minister of the environment. and ofir has it on good authority mbuke was tipped off by someone in her department. >> but you must know this is a shop that is not far from where we're standing right now. why has he been allowed to operate in the open like this for so long? >> we are not so organized when it comes to doing some investigations. >> can you guarantee that no one in your agency is friendly with
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ivory smugglers? >> oh, no, i can't guarantee that. i think for any big agency, especially, we have more than 1,000 staff. if one or two, i cannot say. >> you need officials. you need corrupt governments. you need corrupt police agencies. you can't make citizen's arrests of these poachers. what do you say to a person who says this guy is just tilting at windmills? >> look, we are not there to do what we do and corruption stops us from doing that. we are here to fight corruption. >> reporter: along with fighting rampant corruption, ofir also has the massive task of convincing people here to care about animal welfare. no small task in countries where both the black market and black magic can help drive a species to the brink. >> got a blanket full of cobra heads over here, some owls, parrots. the juju priests say if you make a tea out of parrots it will make your children more intelligent. it's easy to see why conservation is still such a foreign term for so many people.
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on this continent all animals are magic in their medicine and they're food. >> reporter: meanwhile, on the other side of the globe asian cultures have long craved ivory as a sign of good taste that can bring good luck. and many here call it elephant tea, wrongly assuming that tusks fall off and grow back. >> if it's not stopped very soon, we're not going to have any more wild elephants in africa. >> reporter: dan stiles is an expert on ivory markets throughout the world, often going undercover to assess supply and demand. and he led us on the last leg of a journey back in new york city, the center of america's ivory trade. >> so what we're doing is monitoring what's going on with the scale of ivory. there's demand going up. there's demand going down. does demand remain stable? >> reporter: finding the stuff is no problem in manhattan, from priceless sculptures to cheap factory carvings in china and africa. >> what's the age of this, do you think? >> i would say 30 years old, 40 years old. >> reporter: but the hard part
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is determining what is black market, illegal ivory and what is antique, legally imported ivory that came in before the worldwide ban? >> it's not something i can get my hands on and just call up china or japan and say bring me a task. >> reporter: every merchant we visit insists they sell only legal ivory. but since some new carvings are dyed to appear old, it's impossible to tell just by looking. >> old everything. >> reporter: now, from where we sit it would be easy to dismiss this as a chinese problem. but do americans deserve a little bit of the blame here? >> there are a lot of americans that like ivory. they buy ivory. and a certain percentage of that ivory is illegal. >> reporter: last year two new york city jewelers were caught with over a ton of illegal ivory. there was a similar size bust in philadelphia. and a fish and wildlife repository in denver holds six tons. all of it will soon be destroyed to send a message. and while ofir chases smugglers back in africa, dane is
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convinced his methods will never work. >> in another five years ofir drury will throw in the towel and tell you, i tried but i failed. it's impossible because of the corruption, endemic corruption, for law enforcement to actually stop the poaching. >> reporter: he's among the camp that believes it would be easier to teach over a billion chinese to stop buying ivory than to convince poor africans to stop poaching elephants. >> if people will not buy the product, people will stop killing the animals to supply it. >> reporter: but maybe it will take both camps to save this animal, educating and shaming and enforcing with everything they have. >> this is the front line. this is the fight. it is a neverending fight. our reward is not reaching a point of achievement and saying oh, the world is a great place. it's the neverending fight. and every time we know we have to push further and further and further and further. >> despite ofir's efforts, mbuke
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remains at large tonight. and just a few weeks ago another massive shipment, two tons of ivory, was seized in hong kong, shipped from togo. coming up next, the massive penalty against yankees mvp alex rodriguez and his reaction to it. when we come back. [ lighter flicking ] [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where giving up isn't who you are. ♪
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he broke into the big leagues shortly after attending his high school prom. alex rodriguez has generated some of the biggest numbers in baseball, from hitting home runs at a dizzying rate to signing contracts worth more than some small countries. but today brought a new kind of epic number as the game cracks
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down on the scourge of performance-enhancing drugs. it is tonight's "feed frenzy." 211. that is how many games major league baseball wants to suspend alex rodriguez after acoucusing the yankees' megastar of not only using banned steroids and human growth hormone but for also attempting to obstruct and frustrate an investigation into the south florida anti-aging clinic called biogenesis. this is the same investigation that cost former mvp ryan braun a shameful end to this season. and after seeing the evidence a dozen other major league players accepted 50-game suspensions today and gave up their right to appeal. but from a-rod no apologies. >> obviously, disappointed with the news today. no question about it. >> if you didn't use p.e.d.s in this recent why don't you just say it? >> i don't think the time is right now. an


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